The 2023 Nutmeg Nor’Easter: A Fine Time in the Forest for Friends and Family From all Over

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The 2023 Nutmeg Nor’Easter: A Fine Time in the Forest for Friends and Family From all Over

Greetings and good tidings from Nutmeg Country, or welcome to the world of love, kindness, friendship, and joy. Maybe you’ve felt it all year long, or maybe you’ve been yearning to finally make the pilgrimage to the largest gathering of wool and steel on the East Coast. Either way, Jarrod Bunk has no doubt that stories of the soft times had in Nutmeg Country have reached your ears. The allure has been written about many times in this corner of the internet. The annual Nutmeg Nor’easter masquerades as the best alt-cycling weekend but Jarrod’s here to tell you that what you’ll find when you arrive is the biggest group hug you could ever hope for. This is a cycling festival that’s more about the people and the riding is just the reason to gather. Read on for Jarrod’s recap of the 2023 edition of the Nutmeg Nor’Easter.

Bobby’s Wilde Bikes Ti Dorothy: A Match Made In Oklahoma

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Bobby’s Wilde Bikes Ti Dorothy: A Match Made In Oklahoma

We’re not in Kansas anymore. Certainly not. Unlike the hard bedrock of the flint hills and similar gravel roads that pattern the Midwest, The Mid South (or “Mud South”) hosted in Stillwater, Oklahoma is characterized by its rich red clay. Second only to race director Bobby Wintle‘s finish line hug for every rider, The Mid South has become infamous for its often wet weather that turns that beautiful red clay into drivetrain-eating mud. Re-routing the course is never even a topic of conversation.

Geographic locations and riding can add a lot to the picture when considering what your dream bike may be. Massive tire clearance? Tall or low bottom bracket? Slack or steep head tube angles. Well after riding in an area for so long you figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what you wish someone could just get right. With these thoughts in mind Bobby collaborated with Wilde Bikes to develop a bike that is Mid South approved. How so? Read on to find out a little bit more about this bike from Jarrod Bunk and check out some flicks on the red dirt.

Ballz’ JP Weigle Fat Tire Road Cruiser

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Ballz’ JP Weigle Fat Tire Road Cruiser

I met Ballz last August while riding around Brattleboro VT. Afterward, I was welcomed back to Nutmeg Country for pizza, more group rides, and tour guiding. While there I spent the night in Ballz and Troy’s Garage, also known as the Nutmeg Country Historical Preservation Society Of Alt Cycling, or something along those lines. No, really, they had it all: everything from prototype Crust Leather Handlebars to prototype Nor’Easters. So, seeing a one-of-a-kind J.P. Weigle wasn’t out of the ordinary, but I didn’t quite grasp what I was looking at.

Megan Dean’s Frame Building Class at Center for Metal Arts in Johnstown, PA

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Megan Dean’s Frame Building Class at Center for Metal Arts in Johnstown, PA

The Philly Bike Expo brings together folks from all over the country each year, many of whom have transformed the event into a gathering of some of the finest frame builders in the world. I’ve made a lot of friends over the years attending the show and documenting these awesome builders. While at the show in Philly, I often approach it with a mission in the back of my mind to bring good friends back to Johnstown, PA where I live. It’s a place that desperately needs more cycling culture.

A couple of years ago I did just that and, with fingers crossed, I sprung this question on Megan Dean of Moth Attack: “This bike is unreal, it’s truly a work of art, have you ever thought about teaching a frame-building class?” I think Megan said something like “Funny you should say that… I actually have been.” I responded by telling her that I have a friend in town with a special spot we could use called Center For Metal Arts. It’s filled with light, a fire, and the glow of forged metals most days of the week. Not familiar with CMA? No problem, read on.

Hope Cyclery Builds: Andrew’s Rivendell Platypus

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Hope Cyclery Builds: Andrew’s Rivendell Platypus

I met Andrew years ago at a fat bike event we hosted here in Johnstown, PA. Playing polo and ripping around the parking lot on the big bouncy bikes looked like something fun to him. Until that moment, Andrew had visited several shops locally and always got the glance; you know the look if you’re outside of the “normal” scope of a cyclist, whether that’s your size, appearance, or, hell, I’ve been in the industry for nearly 20 years and I still get the look. Those eyes and words can pierce through all the stoke you may have as a larger cyclist, and make you give up before you even get to start your love affair with bicycles.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: People’s Choice Winner Jacqueline Mautner Untitled Cycles

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: People’s Choice Winner Jacqueline Mautner Untitled Cycles

2021 brought about the return of the Philly Bike Expo after a year-long hiatus due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve got a lot of coverage on the way sporadically, thanks to Jarrod Bunk of Hope Cyclery but we really want to share the People’s Choice Winner: Jaqueline Mautner from Untitled Cycles‘ Sophie Taeuber-Arp homage gravel bike with SRAM AXS EXPLR, so read on below for a synopsis of this project by Jacqueline Mautner and plenty of beautiful compositions by Jarrod!

A Hope Cyclery Build: David’s Rivendell (c)Hillborne

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A Hope Cyclery Build: David’s Rivendell (c)Hillborne

Somewhere along David‘s journey in 2019, where he spent weeks riding from New York through Pennsylvania and moving across the country from LA to Johnstown, something clicked and it was time to look for something a bit lighter to replace his long-loved Rocky Moutain Sherpa. That bike had seen a lot of miles over the years and the weight, well let’s just say it’s stout.

Panasonic Mountain Cat Project

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Panasonic Mountain Cat Project

Sometimes the best bikes for camping are the ones you’ve got or ones that are gifted to you. Although this bike is the latter, many people right now are clamoring to source a bike, partially brought on by the pandemic, a rekindled love for cycling, and scarcity of bikes. There may be a rad bike in your future and you don’t even know it yet.  It might just be the one if your basement, parents garage or a craigslist ad. An 80s MTB seems to make the perfect donor bike to get out, explore more, and connect with nature.

The Great Social DisDANCE Off

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The Great Social DisDANCE Off

Last week, Beth from Frontier Bikes posted a video of her mopping up and getting down in the shop, to which I commented that I thought is was a great example of Social DisDANCING. Being a fellow wordlover/punsmith, that sparked something for Beth, so she reached out. In the course of 12 hours, we whipped up a collaborative campaign to spread some funds by spreading some funs. -Tobie Depauw

She put her magical ability to get brands on board with some prize donations and within a day, there were a dozen companies contributing raffle prizes.

And these are not some no-good knick knacks, these are top quality prizes.

Head to www.stewardshipretail.com for more info.

Philly Bike Expo: Hanford Cycles Long Distance Road

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Philly Bike Expo: Hanford Cycles Long Distance Road

Hanford Cycles calls Philadelphia their home and as home town heros, at this year’s Philly Bike Expo, they brought a subtle and subdued fendered road bike, when compared their ornate and attention-grabbing classic randonneur bike from last year’s show. Simon of Hanford Cycles worked for Bilenky for 14 years, before leaving to launch his own enterprise, Hanford Cycles. As you can see from the lugwork on this and all of Simon’s bikes, it appears to be working out for him just fine.

The details on this long distance road bike are stunning! It’s equipped with a SON hub for a generator lamp eventually, fenders, cantilever brakes for extra clearance around the fenders, and a geometry tuned for the long road ahead.

Philly Bike Expo: Johnny Coast 700 x 32 Randonneur

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Philly Bike Expo: Johnny Coast 700 x 32 Randonneur

Brooklyn’s Johnny Coast knows how to build a classic randonneuring bike. Every year, Johnny brings a classic example of these elegant machines, with so many details from his custom fillet stem, custom fabricated seat cluster lug, bi-lam construction, custom decaluer, an elegant fork, custom front rack, and as always, a paint job to dream about.

Coast’s randonneur takes a different approach with a 700c wheel in a world dominated and encouraged by the 650b platform. He built this beaut with NOS Campy 10 speed, vintage Stronglight crank arms with new TA Pro Vis chainrings.

The lines are the most striking and that’s thanks to Johnny’s use of Japanese KAISEI traditional 1” tubing.

Philly Bike Expo: Zukas Cycles City Singlespeed

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Philly Bike Expo: Zukas Cycles City Singlespeed

Nate from Augusta, Georgia’s Zukas Cycles brought this stunning city singlespeed to the Philly Bike Expo this year, with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a show bike, but with durability for actual wear and tear in mind. Disc brakes, fenders and all the accouterment a gnarly North Eastern all-weather cyclist would demand but with looks and style in mind.

Philly Bike Expo: Royal H Cycles 10-Year Anniversary Bike

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Philly Bike Expo: Royal H Cycles 10-Year Anniversary Bike

Bryan Hollingsworth from Royal H Bikes has attended every Philly Bike Expo since its inception to display his works of art under the Royal H brand. For the 10th anniversary, he knew he had to make something special, so with that goal in mind he built and displayed this beautiful lugged road bike. Some of the finer details include top-eyes with windows built-in and a very special bottom bracket, that was filed to perfection, but everywhere you look on this bike there’s something special going on.

With a build kit based around Campagnolo Chorus mostly, some nods to the past include the Stronglight Headset, quill stem, Turbo saddle, but Bryan chose to use White Industries hubs for a reliable handbuilt wheelset.  Check out more of the images above, and if you got any other questions for Bryan, drop them in the comments.

Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles Gilded Ti Hardtail

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Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles Gilded Ti Hardtail

Yes, you’re right. That ain’t gold. It’s anodizing. Drew from Engin Cycles is a master of the craft that is designing, engineering, and fabricating titanium bicycles. At this year’s Philly Bike Expo, Engin’s hardtails commanded attention with this one, in particular, bringing the bling. Its incredible anodization and design work was done by Jake Beadenkopf.

The build kit here includes the best of the best with SRAM AXS, RockShox Reverb dropper, Pike fork, and some beautiful Industry Nine wheels.

With such intricate masking and design work on a bike like this, one can only ask the question: “what will it look like dirty?!” If you’re the owner of this amazing Engin, please do us a favor and post some photos in the comments of how it looks with some dirt on it. I think I speak for everyone reading this when I say you have one stunning bike!